Riverdance visits HK on its final farewell

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 May, 2011, 12:00am


The spectacular theatre show of traditional Irish music and dancing, Riverdance, serves up two and a half hours of thrills, movement and rhythm. Over some 15years, the show has grown into a global sensation enjoyed by millions of people.

In 1994, the Republic of Ireland hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, a popular annual competition in which singers from different European nations perform. Television viewers pick the winner.

The Irish show's producer, Moya Doherty, was asked to think up something entertaining to fill six minutes of the show while judges worked out which song had won the contest. She recruited a handful of traditional Irish dancers and created a routine.

The performance proved an enormous success across Europe and Doherty then developed the idea into a full theatre show. Since 1995, Riverdance has been seen by millions of theatregoers and more than two billion television viewers.


Stepdancing, performed in the Riverdance show, has been carried out at Irish village celebrations such as weddings and festivals for hundreds of years. It enjoyed a revival in the 1930s when enthusiasts laid down some rules about how the dance should be done. Dancers wear hard shoes to beat out the rhythm on the ground. The upper body and arms don't move. All the movement of the dance comes from the legs and feet. Riverdance was the first show to line up 30 or more dancers in a row and have them stepdancing in perfect rhythm.

The Wearing of the Green

Ireland is not called 'The Emerald Isle' for nothing. It is a land of beautiful green scenery that stretches for miles. The colour green has been an important colour in Irish culture for centuries. Bright green is the colour of the national plant, the shamrock. The green stripe in the Irish flag represents the Irish people and a true son or daughter of Ireland should always wear something green - whether at home or abroad. Every St Patrick's Day, on March 17, a member of the British royal family always presents a fresh green shamrock to the Irish Guards regiment of the British Army, and in the American city of Chicago, the Chicago River is dyed green to show that the Irish immigrants there have not forgotten their homeland.

The Little Man in Green

A leprechaun is an Irish elf about the size of a small child that exists in fairy tales. He looks like a little old man, is always dressed in green, and sports a long white beard and a jaunty green hat. Leprechauns spend most of their time mending and making shoes, and they keep the money they make in a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Tickets for the Hong Kong shows are available at Hong Kong Ticketing.

Inquiry: 3128 8288 / www.hkticketing.com